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Berkeley: Out in the Woods, Still in the 'Fifties

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It goes on the MLS on Thursday, but we got a sneak preview of Vernon DeMars' 1950 house in Berkeley. DeMars was a colleague of William Wurster's at UC Berkeley, working with him on a number of projects, perhaps most notably Sproul Plaza, the site of the Free Speech movement and Vietnam War demonstrations. The house itself is an interesting and coherent mashup- a little deconstructed Maybeck in the fireplace, a little Japanese in the shoji and sliding panels and the peeled-tree trunk uprights, some California modern in the wide open post-and-beam spaces infilled with glass. Sited at the edge of creek, probably part of the Temescal Creek Watershed. Needs work, but at sixty, who doesn't? DeMars and his wife chose the site for its easy access to the Key Line, the train service that crossed the Bay Bridge to the Transbay Terminal and would continue a few more years.
· 240 The Uplands [Kathleen Wilson]
· Temescal Creek Watershed [Oakland Museum]